D&D contingent hungry for competitive running
While most people were reaching for that extra extra slice of cake or another mince pie, many of Drogheda & District AC's finest road runners celebrated the Christmas season by racing some of the many 5K road races which took place over the past few days.
First up was the Kris Kindle 5K in Dundalk where Ruaidhri Nolan continued his run of good form when finishing fifth overall in a fast 17:29 against some quality opposition, with clubmate David Walsh close behind in seventh place in 17:51. Gerard Fay was 70th in 22:48, Christy Duffy 75th in 23:34.
Among the D&D ladies, Michele McCullough was 129th in 26:04 and Irene Connolly 141st in 26:24.
Over in Navan on St Stephen's Day, Colin Leonard showed most of the field a clean pair of heels when finishing eighth overall in 17:32 at the Rita and Robbie Christmas 5K.
This was a strong display of running by Leonard and he's coming into good form after his Dublin Marathon run.
Jackser Reilly was the club's next finisher in 95th spot in 21:29, which earned him a second-in-category prize.
Karen Delaney ran well to place third in category when finishing 115th overall in 22:20, while Nuala Reilly won her category with her run of 22:24, Conor Cooney got round the course in 23:58 and Roisin McGeough ran 25:07.
The battle for club honours which is played out on a weekly basis at the Oldbridge Parkrun saw a titanic struggle take place between arch rivals Yasmin Canning and training partner Paul Reilly.
With both athletes in good form at the moment, last Saturday's race was a real straightener between these two and such was their commitment that both came away with some sparkling new PB times. Canning just edged out Reilly on the line when finishing 11th in 19:44, to Reilly's 19:45.
This was a massive 17-second improvement for Canning and she's putting it up to most of her male training partners in the Red group.
While this race within a race was going on, Brian Martin was leading the rest of the field a merry dance as he coasted home a popular winner, with his time of 17:42 giving a glimpse of the form he's in at the moment.
Also running well was young Matthew O'Shea, who finished 23rd in 21:46, with Brian Guilfoyle 37th in 23:42.
Ieva Ofmane was D&D's first woman across the line in 39th place in 23:45, with Andrea MaCardle 60th in 25:28 - a new PB time for her.
Later in the week, at the Clonliffe Harriers Christmas Cracker 5K which started and finished in Santry Stadium, there were some fine performances from D&D members.
Shane Larkin was on full power right from the gun, put the work in to get himself into a good position well up the field and finished 10th overall in a very useful 17:01 to win a first-in-category prize.
Mary Leech as usual delivered a quality run when it was needed. She quickly got into her racing tempo against some quality opposition and her strong running saw her finish third overall in the ladies race in an eye-opening 18:22 and also won her category. Siobhan Redmond also ran and finished in 25:53.
Last Saturday week Yasmin Canning had just missed out on the sub-20 at the weekly Oldbridge Parkrun, coming hom in 20:06, while other competing D&D athletes were Pamela Howard (22:19), Sean Corcoran (24:42), Jos Haak (25:22), Seamus Roe, David Thornton, Helen Molloy and Anne-Marie Kierans.
Earlier that week, over at the National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown, some of Drogheda & District's finest sprint athletes were in action on the state-of-the-art 200m track.
There were good performances from Karl Carton who was fourth in his 60m dash in 8:25 and later in the evening placed third in his 200m in 27:34.
Carton's training partner Frank Cruise was fourth in the 200m in 29:50, while Andrea McCabe was fifth in her 200m event in 34:09.
In the 800m, which was run over four laps, Hugh Callan placed third in 2:20:11, with Paul Stuart fifth in 2:21:48 and Gerry O'Connor 10th in 2:25:57.
In the Mixed Mile, Mags Nugent ran well to finish second in 5:50:89, with Gerard Fay eighth in 6:35:54.
D&D's last event of the year, their Charity Mile, was held at the club's new grounds at Newtownstalaban to raise funds for Drogheda Homeless Aid. Master of ceremonies Jim Nolan kept the masses entertained and our famed Misses Doyles made sure that no one went home hungry.